The interior design styles that will make your home happiest, according to a new study

From rustic to contemporary, these are the styles that make us feel contented

a wooden dining table and chairs with vase of dainty flowers against a beige/gray wall
(Image credit: Neptune)

Now that we're no longer confined to our homes 24/7, we've started to really enjoy being in our living spaces, simply because we're not in them ALL the time. But have you ever wondered which interior design styles are the happiest of them all?

Knowing how to design a living room that feels cohesive and calm requires you to first narrow things down to a couple of styles, be it industrial maximalist or modern rustic. According to online interior design service Modsy's interior wellness report, there are five key styles that bring the feel-good factor. Add in some of the best home fragrances, and you'll relish time spent in your own abode...

The 5 happiest interior design styles

a modern country kitchen with exposed brick on the walls, a large island, blue cabinets and white marble countertops, and a covered up fireplace

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

Modsyrecently ran a study on how the design of our home impacts our well-being. It surveyed 1,500 people and showed that people who had the following design styles were most likely to be happy at home: 

  • Rustic
  • Mediterranean
  • Contemporary
  • Mid-century modern
  • Mountain

In other words, not any of these popular styles: traditional, industrial, glam, coastal, minimalist, maximalist, Scandi or boho. 


a rustic living room with exposed beams, white walls, a gray floor and beige and gray sofas and armchairs, with a fireplace

(Image credit:

Rustic typically features lots of natural materials. Old, exposed wooden beams or shiplap, brick and wicker, plus landscape artwork often appear in rustic schemes. 

The fact rustic styles makes the list reflects the way being surrounded by natural materials and images of nature tends to make us feel a sense of wellbeing. In the report, people were asked how a well-designed room would make them feel, and 'cozy' and 'calm' were the two top terms they used. 

Just like having some houseplants is known to boost our mood, natural elements do seem to bring a sense of happiness and calm.


modern mountain style bedroom with large windows with forest in the background, and gray headboard

(Image credit: LUXXU)

Just like rustic, 'mountain' style has plenty of natural materials – and huge windows with beautiful views, of course. Modern mountain style is also characterized by tall ceilings, fuss-free spaces and a super relaxing atmosphere that makes you want to light a fire and get cozy.


terrazzo tiles in kitchen with moka coffee machine, gray cabinets, and a wooden dining table with a plant, coffee mug and magazine

(Image credit: Walls and Floors)

The fact that 'Mediterranean' was among the happiest design styles to us suggests that we love being in spaces that a) have a sense of history and b) remind us of sunny, care-free holidays. That said, Mediterranean design has plenty of natural materials too, from ceramic tile to cotton.

There's also a sense of indoor-outdoor living, with lots of natural light flooding into fuss-free living spaces through arched windows.

Mid-century modern

an eames black lounge chair and foot stool in living area with a wooden cabinet, beige rug, a plant and a white throw

(Image credit: Pash Classics)

Mid-century modern furniture has an enduring appeal because of its slim profiles, clean lines and versatility. It works with everything, whether your space is a riot of maximalist color, or chic and cozy Scandi room design ideas


modern living room with built-in unit, wooden armchair, natural light through the window, and purple walls

(Image credit: Neptune)

The fact that contemporary and mid-century modern came out on top as 'happy' design styles implies that we simply feel good when our homes are up to date. Modern living room ideas, from oversized lamps to moody paint colors, make us feel like we're up to speed with the latest trends. 

This isn't important for everyone, but it's interesting to note that those with a 'country' style interior were the least likely to say they feel happy in their home. They were also the least likely to say they feel excited to invite people over.

Does your style make the list?

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.